February 8, 2023

Bonding with Your Dog

By Niki Stojnic

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When we adopted our rescue Pepper final 12 months, our family was all in on her vitality and playfulness. She’s an Australian Cattle Dog combine, so we knew from day one which we’d have our work lower out for us when it got here to entertaining this cute little beastie. Thus it was with quite a lot of pleasure that we got down to take a look at the Wickedbone Smart Bone.

Why Do Dogs Need Toys?

Dogs want psychological stimulation and bodily exercise so that they keep wholesome—and are good and drained sufficient they received’t get an opportunity to be damaging. And after all, which means rain or shine! In locations (like our wet Pacific Northwest) the place it’s not all the time splendid to get exterior for a play session, it’s vital to have an arsenal of indoor toys and video games that you should utilize to assist your canine stave off boredom.


In latest years, the necessity to entertain high-energy pups has led to new wave of high-tech canine toys—which is how I discovered the Wickedbone, a robotic bone that rolls round by itself and (based on its makers at Cheerble) may even routinely alter its reactions to your canine’s play type. Worth investigating? We thought so!

Unboxing the Wickedbone Smart Bone

Pepper was instantly intrigued by the snazzy little white robotic bone (together with its field, after all). I downloaded the app, which directed me to plug it in to get it charged up; in the meantime I checked out the directions.

The app turns your cellphone right into a distant for the bone. From right here, you’ll be able to put it into computerized mode for various lengths of time (5 minutes and up), the place the bone will undergo its library of methods—rolling, bouncing, shaking, and extra—at random. You may also run the bone manually.

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Once it had charged, I went to sync my cellphone to the bone. To do that, you maintain your (Bluetooth-enabled) sensible cellphone near the bone when the lights are blue and contact “join.” Or at the least, that’s the way it ought to work. It took just a little fiddling on our finish to get it proper. Eventually, we realized the bone needs to be unplugged to pair, and you’ve got a comparatively brief window of time after unplugging it to attach it.

Pepper’s Reaction to the Wickedbone Smart Bone

Once we acquired the Smart Bone up and operating, Pepper, a fan of all issues that transfer, took to the Wickedbone’s wiggling, shaking, flipping, and rolling antics immediately. She chased it and grabbed it together with her paws, pinning it so she may transfer on to her favourite exercise: chewing.

black and tan dog chewing on toy

Pepper’s favourite exercise? Pinning the Wickedbone and chewing on its rubbery ends.

black and tan dog chewing on Wickedbone smart bone

We discovered that the automated mode labored just a little too slowly to maintain Pepper actually entertained. She would stare at it, ready, then it could transfer in a brief burst, which caught her curiosity. But the bursts have been too brief and the wait time in between was too lengthy to make it actually rewarding or attention-grabbing.

The guide mode, although? It was nice. My husband and I each had enjoyable tapping the Wickedbone’s number of methods and watching Pepper attempt to determine this factor out. There are a lot of customizable features which you could dig into within the Smart Bone settings. For instance, you’ll be able to put it in carpet or hardwood mode, with every adjusting the toy to maneuver extra simply or extra gently on the totally different surfaces.

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Predictably, Pepper chewed a tiny gap in one of many rubberized, detachable sensible bone ends as quickly as I left her a minute with it unsupervised. But that doesn’t matter—it retains on trucking. And fortunately, Wickedbone considered the chewers: you should buy alternative tires (in numerous colours, even!).

The producer, Cheerble, additionally makes different sensible toys, just like the Wicked Ball—for a canine like Pepper that likes to seize and chew, I may see this being a good higher possibility as a result of it can roll and react, even when it’s not in the midst of its programmed methods. That fixed motion is more likely to maintain a canine like Pepper much more engaged.

It solely took one session for Pepper to get excited to see the Wickedbone once more and to hunt it out. When we had the Smart Bone plugged in on the counter, she’d pop up on her hind legs to inspect the place we put it—a certain signal of a winner.

Wickedbone Smart Bone Interactive Dog Toy

Wickedbone smart bone

Find on Amazon Find on Cheerble

Is the Wickedbone Worth It?

We say sure! The Wickedbone Smart Bone is an effective, strong interactive toy that ought to maintain many canine (and their pet mother and father) entertained. But there are a couple of kinks which might be simply annoying sufficient that it might not be the primary toy we attain for once we’re up for a fast play session.


  • Pairing together with your cellphone generally is a little difficult; you need to give up the app as a way to flip the toy off, however you’ll be able to’t reconnect till you plug the bone in, unplug it, and pair once more.
  • The computerized mode may not be as participating as guide mode for an particularly high-energy pup like Pepper.
  • The Wickedbone is, unsurprisingly, spendier than your common canine toy.
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That stated, there’s quite a bit to advocate the Wickedbone—it saved us entertained, and Pepper was an enormous fan.


  • The customizability of guide mode provides a powerful vary of choices to maintain canine (and people!) with a wide range of play types entertained.
  • The bone strikes, shakes, and wobbles successfully on totally different surfaces, making it a pleasant selection for indoor play.
  • Sturdy tires held up properly underneath Pepper’s abuse, and once they ultimately give manner, they’re replaceable.

Who may just like the Smart Bone? We suppose a lot of canine and their people shall be happy—particularly pet mother and father who’re much less cellular, youngsters (and adults) who love devices, and anybody who wants a low-key approach to entertain their canine. Every little bit helps!

Dog with Wickedbone looks at camera

Pepper is a fan!

Further Reading

  • Our Readers’ 23 Favorite Dog Chew Toys
  • 7 High-Tech Dog Gadget Gifts for the Dog Who Has Everything
  • Ready, Set, Launch! 9 Favorite Ball Thrower Dog Toys for Active Dogs

Niki Stojnic has been masking personalities, locations, and developments in Seattle and the PNW for 20 years, as a author and an editor. Her favourite recommendation of all time got here when making ready to go to honeybee hives for a narrative: “Don’t appear like a bear.” She’s the cofounder of Parts & Labor, a bimonthly publication about ladies. She at the moment lives with a yellow sided inexperienced cheek conure, Mango, and lately adopted a candy rescue pup from Texas, Pepper.

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